USC Says Students Tied to Admissions Scam Could Face Expulsion

March 19, 2019 Updated: March 19, 2019

The University of Southern California said it may expel students tied to a brazen college-admissions scam after reviewing their records, which could lead the college to throw out “Full House” actress Lori Loughlin’s two daughters.

The school said on Monday night it has already “placed holds on the accounts of students who may be associated with the alleged admissions scheme,” preventing them from registering for classes or acquiring transcripts.

“Following the review, we will take the proper action related to their status, up to revoking admission or expulsion,” the college said in a tweet on Monday night.

It did not name specific students, but Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli are among 50 people charged last week with participating in what federal prosecutors called a $25 million bribery and fraud scam.

Actress Lori Loughlin, center, poses with daughters
Actress Lori Loughlin, center, poses with daughters Olivia Jade Giannulli, left, and Isabella Rose Giannulli at the 2019 “An Unforgettable Evening” in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Feb. 28, 2019. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

The scheme helped the couple land their two daughters’ spots at USC, authorities said.

A USC representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the status of Loughlin’s daughters.

The mastermind of the scheme last week pleaded guilty to racketeering charges for bribing coaches, cheating on standardized tests and fabricating athletic profiles to help children of wealthy families gain admission to top universities including Yale, Stanford and Georgetown.

William Rick Singer
William “Rick” Singer founder of the Edge College & Career Network, departs federal court in Boston after he pleaded guilty to charges in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal on March 12, 2019. (Steven Senne/AP Photo)

Prosecutors said some students involved in the scandal were not aware their parents had made the alleged arrangements, although in other cases they knowingly took part. None of the children were charged.

A Georgetown spokesman said on Tuesday the school would not comment on disciplinary action against individual students linked to the scandal, but added it was “reviewing the details of the indictment, examining our records, and will be taking appropriate action.”

Georgetown University, Stanford University, Yale University, and University of California, Los Angeles
This combination of images shows college campuses, clockwise from top left, Georgetown University, Stanford University, Yale University, and University of California, Los Angeles. (AP Photos)

Yale, UCLA, and the University of Texas said last week that any students found to have misrepresented any part of their applications may have their admission rescinded. Stanford said it was “working to better understand the circumstances around” one of its students linked to the scheme.

Wake Forest’s president said last week, “We have no reason to believe the student was aware of the alleged financial transaction.”

Several celebrities and corporate executives charged in the scandal have already felt career consequences. The Hallmark cable channel last week cut ties with Loughlin after her alleged role in the fraud was disclosed.

Lori Loughlin in custody
Actress Lori Loughlin arrives at the 5th annual People Magazine “Ones To Watch” party in L.A., on Oct. 4, 2017. (Richard Shotwell/Invision/File via AP)

By Gabriella Borter